changing architecture from i386 to amd64

Roland Smith rsmith at
Fri Aug 8 20:20:39 UTC 2008

On Fri, Aug 08, 2008 at 10:55:30PM +0300, Ivo Karabojkov wrote:
> Hi!
> I have machine working with i386 version of FreeBSD 7.0 Release (after 
> several source updates from 6.0 during the years). Is it possible to 
> re-build kernel and "world" with another architecture, in my case
> AMD64? 

Yes, but you'll need to have a seperate partition to install them to.
Don't do this if you don't know what you're doing.

> I hope to be able to "switch" my architecture without re-installing 
> FreeBSD with AMD64.

You do realize that you have to recompile/reinstall your ports/packages
to take advantage of the amd64 features? That is a _lot_ more work than
reinstalling the base system! So reinstalling the base system should not
worry you. 

Before you switch you should check that all ports that you need are
available on amd64. If you look into the port makefile and see
ONLY_FOR_ARCHS=i386, it won't work on amd64! Examples are the flash
plugin for firefox and the binary nVidia driver for Xorg.

The best advice I can give you is:
- make backups of all your data (especially configuration files)
- delete all ports
- reinstall amd64
- rebuild the ports that you need.

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